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'The Flash' showrunner reveals original plan for series finale, scenes cut when show was renewed

The Flash Season 8 almost ended with the series finale.

By Matthew Jackson
(L-R) Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Jesse L. Martin as Captain Joe West

The Flash will run for at least one more year. The hit CW superhero series -- now the longest-running current scripted show on the network -- was renewed for its ninth season back in March, but that wasn't always a sure thing. Weeks before the renewal news hit, showrunner Eric Wallace noted that the Season 8 finale was written to work as a potential series finale, just in case a renewal didn't happen. Now that the finale's aired, Wallace is shedding some light on how exactly that series finale would have worked. 

Speaking to TV Line in the wake of the season finale last week, Wallace confirmed that the big showdown between The Flash (Grant Gustin) and the Negative Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) was indeed conceived as the show's final major villain battle, which explains why it was such a grand scale fight and why it seemed to have some real...well, finality to it. Of course, when the series got renewed, Wallace and his writers knew they'd have to conceive another Big Bad and another big showdown for Season 9, but that wasn't the only thing about the finale that changed. 

Speaking to TV Line again over the weekend, Wallace noted that while the Negative Reverse-Flash fight pretty much happened exactly as the original script laid it out, some other post-fight scenes had to change when he realized Season 9 would happen after all. Most notably, the conversation between Barry and his recently returned wife Iris (Candice Patton) had to take on a different tone, since the series finale version was more geared toward them talking about a future together that viewers weren't going to get to see. 

“We had to rewrite it three different times, because when it was a series finale, we had to have a much more deep conversation with Barry and Iris, dealing with the fact that they were going to have kids soon," Wallace said. “It was a little bit sexier, and it was a lot more romantic of a scene. I really liked it.”

While some scenes had to be rewritten to make the series finale into a season finale, others had to be taken out altogether. After all, what would a series finale of The Flash be if it didn't have some kind of grand goodbye to all the major players of Team Flash. Wallace confirmed that a big goodbye "party" scene did exist at the tail end of the series finale version of the script, but it was cut when the show was picked up for more episodes. 

“There would have been an additional scene with all of Team Flash all getting their goodbyes on,” Wallace said. “But when we found out we had another season to play with, that meant, ‘Ooh, I can tease next year’s Big Bad? All right, let’s do that!’ So that final scene changed radically, and then the ‘Goodbye to Team Flash’ group party scene got deleted entirely.”

In place of the party scene, Wallace instead took viewers to the year 2049, where we saw a glowing blue crystal in a mysterious lab as a teaser for what's coming in Season 9. So, what can we expect? Wallace isn't telling, but he has suggested fans go to the source material for clues.

"The hardcore comic book fans know what’s coming; those who don’t, I’m not spoiling it here, so it’s going to be a big surprise for them," Wallace said. "But yes, we’re pulling directly from the comic books here, and boy is it going to be fun."

The Flash returns to The CW next year for its ninth (and possible final?) season.

Looking for more sci-fi adventure in the meantime? Check out Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Eureka, SYFY's Resident Alien, Sliders, Intergalactic and more on Peacock now.